newest sweater-in-progress: octopus yoke!

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My newest project on the needles is another design collaboration with M. After I finished my Skógafjall, with its lovely tree-adorned yoke, she requested a yoked sweater with HER favorite thing on the yoke: Octopuses! Well, mama loves a good design challenge, so it’s happening:

I cast on for M’s Octopus sweater yesterday!

I used Google Sheets to chart out a respectably realistic-looking octopus, and I went stash-diving with M to find the yarn. She was surprisingly cooperative about using only yarn that I already had, but I think it helped that I had a pair of great shades of purple (her second favorite color, after red) Cascade 220 in the right amounts:

Future Octopus sweater for M. So glad she’s on board with the “only knitting from stash” plan, and lucky that I had such a perfect combo of purples in my stash!

I used the lighter color to create a contrast tubular cast-on at the bottom hem as well as the sleeve cuffs – I just love the way this looks!

I used the contrast color for the tubular cast on and I just love the way it looks!

I’ve actually already finished the body and one of the sleeves, so who knows, maybe I’ll be able to start the yoke sometime this week! I suspect there will be a bit of trial and error when it comes to getting everything to fit correctly in the yoke (both fitting it to M’s shoulders AND fitting the octopuses in a way that looks nice) but I think I’ll have this sweater finished before the end of January!

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Goodbye, 2017. Hello, 2018!

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Hi! I realized I never took pictures of the matching sweater and mittens, and, well...problem solved! Merry Christmas, friends!
Goodbye, 2017! Hello, 2018!

2017 was…well, calling it a “rough time on just about every front” might actually be putting it lightly, but nevertheless, we persisted, and now it’s 2018. I typically don’t make much of New Year celebrations, because as an academic, my “New Year” is really the start of Fall Semester, but this year, it actually feels quite apt to celebrate a change. In 2018, we’ll have a new house, M will be going to a new school, and (hopefully!) Andrew will have a new job. So many big transitions!

I don’t really do New Years Resolutions, but I do want to be very mindful about how I approach these big transitions, and aim to “start as I mean to go on” with them. So in our new house, that means being very consistent, from the beginning, about cleaning and tidying, so that things never get so bad that it’s hard to do. That’s something a fresh start will make possible, and I want to take that for all it’s worth!

A fresh start on the school front may also be good, in the end, for M. We love her old school more than I can even say; they’re like family to us! But we don’t know in what ways M might blossom when put in a new environment where people haven’t known her for her entire life. That might be an amazing opening for her, and I want us to be open to it. I’m nervous about finding our way as part of a MUCH bigger school community, and worried about losing touch with our friends from her old school…change is hard, but I think it can also be an opportunity for growth, and that’s what I want to focus on.

Knitting-wise, I’m still committed to not increasing my stash (I dropped the ball on that front a couple of times last year, but not a lot!). I’ll make exceptions for sweaters for M, if there’s something she wants and I don’t have the yarn to make it, but she’s actually been quite cooperative on that front – there’s a new sweater for her on my needles right now, which I’ll post about later, and she happily went “stash-shopping” with me for the yarn to make it. I’ve got the yarn to make quite a few sweaters for myself from other people’s patterns, as well as yarn to make a few designs that I’ve had in my head for awhile. And I may *actually* get moving on publishing some of my backlog of designs – I’ve been wavering on whether to just self-publish them individually or as a collection, or whether to try to submit them somewhere or ask for yarn support from a place like Brooklyn Tweed (so many of my designs would be great in their yarns!)…I’m still so undecided about what to do! This is the part of the design process that I am just utterly useless at. Ideas, I’m good at, but self-promotion/marketing/etc…nope.

Semi-matching rainbow stripey goodness!

I hope 2018 is kinder to all of you, dear readers, and I wish you all the feistiness, courage, and compassion that we need to be each others’ lights in 2018, and to try to make change for the better.